Art Exhibit Part Of Fairfield Revitalization (NBC33 VIDEO)

By Emma Koch

July 26, 2013 Updated Jul 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) -- For years it was a staple of fine dining on Fort Wayne's south side. Then, in February 2010 it closed its doors, a move that seemed shocking to area neighbors.

While some remnants of the original Casa D'Angelo restaurant remain today, it otherwise appears to be sitting empty. And until January 2013, it did just that.

That's when the Wunderkammer Art Company opened its doors, as a contemporary art exhibit.

Businesses like this are blooming all over neighborhoods like Fairfield, as the revitalization process for parts of the city begins. But the key to any revitalization project like we are seeing here, are neighbors not only wanting to make a change, but stepping up and doing it.

"If we could just take one building at a time, one block at a time, one house at a time as we move through the city we could make some real progress,” said Geoff Paddock, Fort Wayne City Council. “And this is one of the bright spots on this Fairfield corridor that i think you're going to see some improvement on. We've already seen it, but we're going to continue to see some improvement on for the next few years."

"Everybody knows that the area could be better, and they're working toward it instead of, kind of an entitlement kind of feeling or a victimization kind of feeling,” Dan Swartz, President and Founder of Wunderkammer Art Company said. “Like it's just like 'let's get to work and we'll all make it better together”.

Businesses like Wunderkammer really help themselves out by working hand-in-hand with the city who provides assistance through things like facade grants which will hopefully be coming soon to this art exhibit.

There are all kinds of little projects going on in the area, which is what council members continue to strive for. They want to see businesses come back and fill these empty buildings and bring a new life to the area.

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